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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, November 19, 2012

Date published:
November 19, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Basso ends collaboration with Mapei Centre

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) before the start of the Japan Cup.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2012, 12:49 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian to be coached by Paolo Slongo in 2013

    Ivan Basso has ceased training under the supervision of the Mapei Centre and will instead be coached by Cannondale directeur sportif Paolo Slongo in 2013.

    Since returning from suspension in late 2008 following his involvement in the blood doping practices of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, Basso had trained at the Mapei Centre in Castellanza. He began collaborating with the late Aldo Sassi during his suspension and continued to work with Mapei Centre staff following Sassi’s death in late 2010.

    Cannondale manager Roberto Amadio stressed that Basso’s collaboration with the Mapei Centre was not ended due to any dissatisfaction with its results, but simply because the team wishes for all of its riders to be trained internally.

    “It’s not a question of lack of faith or lack of results, but we’re ending our relationship with the Mapei Centre,” Amadio told Gazzetta dello Sport. “It’s a question of our policy. If our captain is going to an external coach, our young riders feel justified in doing the same.”

    Basso finished a disappointing 5th at the 2012 Giro after Liquigas had largely controlled the race for the first two weeks, but Amadio reiterated his confidence in the veteran Italian’s ability to lead.

    “It’s not like he finished last in the Giro; he came 5th after racing like a leader,” he said. “After Nibali’s departure [to Astana – ed.] we’re not the same in the Grand Tours, but Basso can still finish on the podium.”

    Basso will begin his season at the GP Lugano and will race Paris-Nice as part of his build-up to the Giro.

    American emphasis

    Cannondale replaces Liquigas as lead sponsor ahead of the 2013 season and Amadio said that his team will place greater...

  • More details on 2013 Vuelta a España route leaked

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) the best three of the 2012 Vuelta a Espana
    Article published:
    November 18, 2012, 13:32 GMT
    Cycling News

    Uphill stage finishes expected in Galicia, Andalusia and Andorra

    More details have emerged about the 2013 Vuelta a España route, which will feature a very hilly start in the opening team time trial, an uphill finish on stage on two and a return to the ultra-steep Collado de la Gallina climb in Andorra.

    Traditionally the last Grand Tour to release its route details, it had already been published that the Vuelta 2013 is due to start in the north-westerly region of Galicia for the first time since 2007. There is likely to be a minimum of four stages but perhaps as many as seven in one of Spain's hilliest regions. The opening team time trial on August 24th is said to be between 20 and 30 kilometres long, with the starting ramps and first few metres of riding on a specially designed raft floating in one of Galicia’s many long, narrow sea inlets or rias. But beyond that, there was little more definitive information.

    However, according to the local Voz de Galicia newspaper, it is now certain that the opening stage will finish in the coastal town of Sanxenxo. The same area played host to a very technical, hilly time trial in last year’s race, and by using this town as a finish, the Vuelta 2013 will very likely see a far tougher – and longer – first team time trial stage than is usually the case, where time differences are generally just a handful of seconds.

    As if such a tricky team time trial was not enough of an early shake-up, stage two, according to La Voz de Galicia, will feature the race’s first summit finish of Monte Lobeira in the town of Vilanova. The Monte Lobeira is just 1.6 kilometres long but will again allow for more differences to open up between the big favourites from unusually early on in the race.

    In yet more good news for the...

  • Gallery: Bakelants and Vanendert test TT positions

    Jelle Vanendert warming up the time trial rig
    Article published:
    November 18, 2012, 16:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian duo on the track in Gent

    The off-season is generally a time of relaxation and rest for professional riders. However it's also an opportunity for the peloton to individually seek out new technologies, equipment and other legitimate advantages.

    On Friday, Jan Bakelants (RadioShack Nissan) and Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Belisol Team) hit the velodrome in Gent, armed with their respective time trial machines and a support staff from Energy Lab trained to improve their time positions on the bike.

  • Rodriguez close to Katusha contract extension

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)
    Article published:
    November 18, 2012, 18:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Catalan on Holczer's departure

    Joaquim Rodriguez is hopeful that he can reach an agreement to remain at Katusha beyond the end of next season following the replacement of manager Hans-Michael Holczer with Viatcheslav Ekimov.

    Immediately after his Tour of Lombardy victory in September, Rodriguez suggested that 2013 might be his final season at Katusha, but he told the EFE news agency at the weekend that talks on an extension were at an advanced juncture.

    “We’re already signed up for 2013, and with the change of manager, I guess everything will be better,” Rodriguez said. “We’re negotiating to continue in 2014 and I think and believe that there will be no problem because the negotiations are quite positive. There’s nothing signed yet, but you can almost say that it’s a ‘yes.’”

    Hans-Michael Holczer was removed as Katusha manager in October after just one season in charge but Rodriguez does not believe that the German’s departure owed anything to their relationship.

    “It’s clear that his departure came about as a result of a number of circumstances but I don’t think it was because he was better or worse for me,” Rodriguez said. “Certainly, I wasn’t the only one who thought that he was doing badly, and someone above him certainly realized that the work he was doing wasn’t suitable.”

    After forgoing the Tour de France in both 2011 and 2012 in order to double up at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, Rodriguez admitted that he is considering returning to La Grande Boucle in 2013.

    “The good thing is that it doesn’t start with a time trial and that allows it to be more open to...

  • Contador joined by 20,000 fans for training ride in Las Palmas

    The Saxo Bank-Tinkoff team with 10 new riders for 2013
    Article published:
    November 19, 2012, 1:34 GMT
    Cycling News

    Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank continue 2013 preparation in Canary Islands

    The Saxo Bank-Tinkoff team of Alberto Contador continued their pre-season preparation on the island of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands by riding with approximately 20,000 cyclo-tourists along the coast of Las Palmas. The short trip alongside the many fans offered a small break for the existing and new Saxo Bank-Tinkoff riders who will remain on the island for the next week.

    Contador's team have been enjoying a range of recreational activities on the Spanish Island that involved jet-skiing, volleyball and football.

    The entire team posed for a photograph before starting their day’s training with a 12km casual ride along the coast before continuing south of the island to the resort of Anfi del Mar – which is situated approximately 70km from Las Palmas.

    New recruits for the coming season posed at the front of the group, including current US National Champion Tim Duggan, who found a home at Saxo Bank-Tinkoff for 2013 after originally signing for SpiderTech before the team announced they would not be continuing in 2013.

    New signings for the 2013 season include: Timothy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale), Evgeni Petrov (Astana), Rory Sutherland (United Healthcare), Roman Kreuziger (Astana), Matti Breschel (Rabobank), Nicolas Roche (AG2R La...

  • Four-year bans proposed by WADA for serious anti-doping violations

    John Fahey (right) with former WADA President Dick Pound
    Article published:
    November 19, 2012, 3:36 GMT
    Cycling News

    Lack of budget increase may force activities to be cut

    The latest draft for the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code, presented by WADA in Montreal has proposed increased sanctions for serious anti-doping violations. The current two-year ban will be increased to four-years if the amendments are approved. The agency also announced they would not be receiving a budget increase for the coming year.

    Serious violations include use of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, masking agents and trafficking of prohibited methods and substances. Strengthening the length of bans comes in response to numerous submissions received by the World Anti-Doping Agency ahead of the final review process which runs from December 3, when the draft is published, through to March 2013.

    "This second draft has done that, doubling the length of suspension for serious offenders and widening the scope for anti-doping organisations to impose lifetime banns," explained WADA president John Fahey.

    "The Code review is intended to increase the efficiency of anti-doping, and athletes must know that there is a heavy price to pay for intentional doping, that 'the risks are high. I am confident this will draft deliver that message loud and clear and that our own stakeholders will agree," Fahey said.

    The meeting held at the weekend was also used to announce the agency would not be receiving an increase in funds for 2013. WADA is currently operating on the same budget level as seen in 2011 and after a year in which the $28 million annual income prove insufficient, Fahey noted that there would be additional cut-backs.

    "This is the second year in a row that we have received a zero-percent increase, and while we appreciate that economies across the world continue to struggle, this freeze is not ideal for the fight against doping in sport," said Fahey.

    "It is widely accepted that doping is a major issue no longer restricted to the sporting world, and that it must be addressed by society as a whole.


  • Haas part of explosive Garmin-Sharp team for Tour Down Under

    Nathan Haas wins the sprint for sixth with the gold jersey
    Article published:
    November 19, 2012, 6:45 GMT
    Alex Malone

    Former Jayco Herald Sun Tour winner wants to defend title in national team

    Nathan Haas understood the 2012 season would require a huge adjustment after stepping up from the Australian-based Continental Genesys Wealth Advisers team straight to the WorldTour with Garmin-Sharp. The 23-year-old was picked up by the ProTeam after a dominant domestic season in 2011 but he knew it was his "engine" that needed to be developed.

    One of the biggest challenged for Haas, who spent 2010 and 2011 riding for Genesys before moving to Jonathan Vaughters squad, was not simply the added race distance but trying to manage what he calls the "training-to-fatigue ratio".

    "I'm doing these 200km races which I feel I've adapted to in the race but it's actually the recovery time in between them which I'm trying to get right," he told Cyclingnews. "It's learning to push through fatigue or not."

    "You can back up day to day but it's the ability to back-up, even with training, after 240km races which are at a much higher intensity than I've ever been used to. It's been all about how much recovery my body needs."

    With a full season which included over 80 days of racing, the neo-professional says he's started his pre-season training with a new level of "depth in his legs" that should lead him to line-up at his first grand tour in 2013.

    "They knew I'd had some results against these guys so I didn't lack the ability but what was always lacking was the engine," Haas told Cyclingnews. "The team really worked on building that engine by putting me in the longer races.

    "I'm already finding I'm at a much higher level than I was last year. I can already feel a whole new depth in my legs that I didn't have.

    "The team wants me to build that and I'm really relishing the opportunity to do a grand tour. I'm really committing to do the hard yards in the season to prove I can work my way into one of those squads," he said.

    His grand tour...

  • Wiggins heads to Majorca for training block

    The dream season continues for Bradley Wiggins (Sky) as the Briton wins the 2012 Tour de France.
    Article published:
    November 19, 2012, 10:34 GMT
    Cycling News

    Tour de France winner working hard after injury

    Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) will get his winter training back on track with a 12-day block of riding in Mallorca.

    Wiggins was due to start his winter training two weeks ago but was knocked off his bike by a car, suffering a fractured rib and other minor injuries. The British rider has raced very little since the Olympic Games in August and needs to peak earlier in 2013 if he is to target the Giro d'Italia in May.

    Team Sky head coach Shane Sutton revealed that Wiggins will train for an average of four hours a day, mixing blocks of three days of training with a rest day.

    "My plan was always for Brad to start training at the end of October. We missed a little bit, but we are ready to train. He will be riding 12 hours in every three-day block in Majorca," Sutton told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

    "He's lost a few days but it's not like we're behind the eight ball. Eight weeks is going to get you pretty close to where you need to be and if you've got three months to work with an athlete who is in pretty good shape you can do a lot."

    Wiggins has announced he wants to target the Giro d'Italia in 2013 and looks set to clash with Italy's Vincenzo Nibali and 2012 Giro winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp). Sutton is convinced Wiggins can win the Giro d'Italia and also perform well in the Tour de France in 2013 after his impressive performances this season.

    "Brad is probably more hungry now because the challenge is even greater than the Tour," Sutton said. "He is more hungry but the expectation isn't so big, that's a very good place to be. Taking away the expectation is fantastic and...